I developed a "single-move tactics" checklist for myself that, when followed, helps with what you are describing. (Of course, it is easy to "forget" to follow it in the heat of battle or during fast-time-control games, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile anyway.) I based it on Dan Heisman's mantra of what to analyze: "checks, captures, threats; in that order", with simplification down to a single move (two ply). The gory details are on my blog (post here), but the simplified list is:
0.5 Search for all the below, in order, for both you and your opponent.
1. Mate in one.
2. Give check from a non-attacked square (checking piece cannot be taken).
2.5 Identify loose pieces (pieces not protected by any fellow pieces).
3. Captures of any of opponent's loose pieces.
4. Capture of any piece by a piece of lesser value (consider knights and bishops equal in this step).
5. Attack any of opponent's loose pieces from a non-attacked square (attacking piece cannot be captured).
6. Attack a greater-value piece with a lesser-value piece (knights and bishops equal) from a non-attacked square (attacking piece cannot be captured).
7. Create a passed pawn on a non-attacked square (cannot be captured).
8. A move that threatens mate-in-one on the following move.
As noted in "gory details", but worth mentioning here, is that the "power moves" really come from single moves that combine more than one of the above, such as a move that attacks both a loose piece and a greater-value piece (fork), or a move that captures a loose pawn and also gives check, or a move that threatens mate-in-one and also attacks a loose piece, etc.