This is what i do. I draw a vertical and a horizontal line. The horizontal line resembles my objects width the vertical line my objects height. I then draw dashes in appropriate places to mark locations that change in form for my own knowledge. Then i do a gestural drawing inside those lines.
I continue my gestural drawings (on seperate paper) until i find the porpotions i like the most and know how to recreate it. Then i start drawing my still life with the knowledge i learned before. On my still life i also do a gestural drawing before i start sketching out my drawing.
My last drawing took up about 5 pieces of paper doing gestural drawings then the final piece. The one i did with spoons i did 20 gestural drawings before i did my still life.
The whole point to the gestural drawing phase is to get your structure and proportions down, also do them on the side of your pencil so you can do it fast. Try to minimize the amount of strokes you do to improve line quality.
Just some stuff for your own knowledge since im not sure if you meant freshman in college or high school.