I do a lot of extremely simple programs and just build on them. I have no one in my household or any friends that have the time that want to look at them so I don't know how good they are (but they work).
Only then comes: "Is it easy to maintain", "is it efficient" and "is it elegant".
After a while you will recognize that really these four matters are aspects of the same and you will then write programs that show all aspects all the time together.
A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James