Considering that it will speed up all the other steps, I'd say that removing the poopware and otherwise minimizing Startup items is probably #1. That can be done before you even get it online.
Before putting it online, make sure that you've got a firewall turned on; the one in Windows if it didn't come with any security software.
Then I get it online and look for Windows updates. On a laptop, I am a little hesitant about general driver updates, and if it ain't broke, don't try to "fix" it.
Overclocking probably can't be done, and in any case would probably be a bad idea considering the thermal problems that's likely to cause, and reduction in battery life.
I probably don't do a backup until I've made the first pass through everything, as the included system restore disks will suffice until you've made a lot of changes.