Another recommendation I've come across: Knit the sleeves first as gauge is less critical to fit there and if you work from the cuff you can measure the actual knitting as you go up. FWIW....or not. I've also seen: Knit the hat first.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper