Workflow is REAL important and getting into the habit of separating your retouching from your color moves is ULTRA important. Especially if you want to work professionally. I developed this video to share how I initially set the overall color and density of an image prior to retouching using a simple curve. I also briefly discuss the concept of workflow and separation which can save you a great deal of frustration when working on revisions.
The reason why I like to initially set the dynamic range prior to retouching is simply to give myself a general idea as to how the image will finish. I've always believed that knowing where you're going is just as important as how you'll get there. Please keep in mind...There's no "one move fits all" approach with digital imaging because every image is different due to exposure, lighting and composition. It's important that you take the time to experiment and play with your images to find just the right feel.