Here's what you want to do,
Wash the car and clay if needed, remove any above surface bonded contaminants before doing any paint polishing work.
Next, do a Test Spot, that is take all the product you plan on using over the entire car and use them on one small section on the car and make sure your "system" works to remove the defects and make paint look great.
Once you prove your system, the simply repeat that process over the entire car.
Point being, if you know your system works in one small area you know it will work over the rest of the car, thus no disappointments.
As for how to carve up the car...
If you think you can do the entire car in one day then do the correction step all at once to the car, then the polishing step and lastly the wax or sealing step.
If you only want to tackle portions of the car in one day then just do the above but to only the hood and roof for example.
Read this recent thread on CorvetteForum to see how much time this member invested in doing his car... Video: How To Remove Swirls, Scratches and Water Spots with a DA Polisher - Corvette Forum
Also watch this video and the videos linked to on the above page... How to do a Section Pass using a Dual Action Polisher - Key to Removing Swirls
How big of a section to do at one time depends upon how easy the swirls are coming out of the paint with your choice of pads and chemicals and even your technique.
If you find the swirls are coming out fast and easy then tackle a large section at one time. If you find the swirls are coming out slow and difficult, then shrink the size of your work area down.