It sure is a conundrum, I guess all you can do is whatever feels right at the moment. If you feel like working on a single piece for a month then do it. If you want to do quick sketches then do that. It doesn't have to be one or the other.
Hi Caleb! First, the portrait has a very cute charm! Second, the technique when using charcoal is quite different to pencil and it seems to me you're using it more like the latter? I'd recommend watching some videos on charcoal drawing, it's really nice once you get the hang of it and very useful when exploring form.
Watch where you place the facial features as the head tilts backwards. I think this is a common problem, and I struggle with it too, that as soon as the head isn't looking straight to the left or right we tend to misplace things. Something that helped me a lot is remembering that the following are approximately the same distance apart: * Bottom of the chin to bottom of the nose * Bottom of nose to brow-line * Brow-line to hair line Basically you can divide the face (not the head, mind you) into equal thirds with these. The one people usually get wrong is the bottom third where the mouth is. Also it'll help to tilt the paper when you're drawing a head looking up- or downwards (when drawing someone in profile). For instance in your second drawing I see the cross you did in the middle is skewed (not all 90-degree angles) which was probably the beginning of your troubles. Hope that helps in some way. I tried the Loomis method myself and honestly it's not a very beginner friendly one in my opinion, but you might have more luck with it :D
Hi Miko! One thing you can do is to pick poses that are more extreme, they are easier to make dynamic than one where the person is just standing straight like in your third example. And whatever pose you draw when practicing gesture, exaggerate it. If the hips are swinging to the left like in your fourth image, push them out even more! You don't have to follow your reference exactly.
This is a very good start! Solid structure like people have mentioned. I would add to that to keep your lines looser (don't press too hard), especially the construction lines. And try to be more conservative with your strokes, there are many places where you're going over the same line many times, like the face outline. Try to use a single stroke to draw the jawline for instance.