I have two distinct workflows:
1) Softest possible contrast test on the full image. I discovered a few years ago that when I use the whole image and not a strip, I get it better faster. Maybe it's because I notice things in the whole image I don't on a single strip. I don't know.
2) Hardest possible contrast overlaid on the the softest area where densitity was just barely peeking through.
3) Full print with both, no manipulation.
4) Usually there is some adjustment because of the overlain hard and soft values. Often skin is a tad darker than I wanted.
5) Manipulations. Almost always burn the edges just barely, to help keep the eye in my frame. Sometimes burn with hard contrast around the eyes of a portrait to make them appear a bit sharper.
6) Neutol or Ilfobrom (either Agfa or Ilford paper) for two minutes. Stop for a few seconds, fix for about 30 seconds, water hold, fix again, tine only if I want deeper black, but not usually.
7) I always use a metronome. I learned this either from an AA or a Fred Picker video, I can't remember, but I find that counting seconds works better than a light fading to off, and it actually creates a rythm with which to work.
1) Whole sheet, 30 seconds (I have a fixed light in a fixed position, so I find that with a single 30 second exposure I can guess where to go next pretty easily. And I can guess contrast grade since I have to use graded papers for contacting.
2) Whole sheet, new guess, or whole sheet at 30 secs. new contrast, if necessary.
3) Third guess, if necessary. It usually is.
4) Manipulations. I am usually down to this by the fourth sheet, max, unless I guess wrong on contrast grade.
5) Amidol +/- water for 1 minute, stop for as long as I can stand it, fix for as long as I can stand it, water hold, fix again, fix again, tone, wash for 60 minutes.