Here is a short video that I made while turning the staircase balusters. I sped up the video (I'll post the real time version next) to show how the baluster takes shape in stages.
I try to group tasks so that the piece retains mass, which helps reduce vibration, and to change tools less frequently. Also, by having intermediate steps, I repeat tasks, such as turning all the beads at once, or roughing out, without having to constantly change my focus. All these things help make a complex turning more simple.
Watching this in fast motion makes it look way too effortless. Believe me, turning dried red oak like this took all the concentration I could muster!