How many cuts on each tesserae should you make? How much effort do you put in to shaping these pieces?
In the main you should only look to make a maximum of 1 to 2 cuts, you can see this in the image below. This gives you the shapes you need, the more you cut, the longer it takes. Occasionally, when filling in spaces you will need a specific shape to place the last tesserae, you should still make as few cuts as you can, if you're making more than 4 cuts then the chances are you're wasting time.
Don't look to make the tesserae the exact shape for the space you have to fill. Just cut until it looks like it might fit and then just jam it in! You have too many tesserae to set to spend time to cutting a precise geomtric shape, cut what fits, that's all you need.