I am the type of person who likes to just start knitting right away as soon as I've committed to a project. I have little patience for things like swatching, and I grumble at the thought of yarn that is not already in a useable form when you purchase it. One of my best knitting investments was a ball winder and swift. Since it's called a "swift," I've always taken that literally. Unless it's a really delicate yarn prone to breakage or fuzzing, I like to really make that thing spin, whipping it around just as fast as it can go. It used to freak out our hamster when she was alive.
Then, I read TechKnitter's post on the usefulness of ball winders. This gave me pause--literally. If you haven't already read it, go do so, and I'll wait. If you have, then you'll understand why I've decided to slow down when I"m winding my yarn now. I try to think of it as an important part of ensuring a good result, rather than a necessary stumbling block before I get to the "real" project.