I'm sketching out ideas, sketching out thumbnails, working with multiple ideas and finally settling on one and going for it. Gut instinct is one thing, but having a full understanding of what the design is communicating and who it is communicating to. Being able to visually erase and work out ideas on paper help make the end result much easier to achieve. I know it is not my specialty, but it is helping me to become successful. It is helping me plot and understand how in-detailed graphic design is.