One thing I've learned flying at non-towered airports with my non-RV, is that it's a very good idea to slow to flap speed and set up the right approach configuration (speed, flaps, fuel, prop to go-around position, etc.) well before entering the pattern - even before joining the 45 degree entry leg. This gets my attention out of the cockpit and focused on other potential traffic and the airport environment.
Another thing worth doing is getting the landing light on - makes your plane more visible.
So the order is: configuration first, then the pattern.