Our big break-through to success was audio books. Paint stripping is not a mentally challenging activity and boredom quickly sets in. If you can find a way to listen to something interesting, like audiobooks or podcasts, the time passes more quickly. By listening to audio books, we were able to spend far longer days working on paint stripping projects.
Next, if you're going to fill holes with a stainable wood filler, do it before you sand. We found the filler would sometimes get onto the wood surrounding the hole and would discolor it, necessitating more sanding. Better to fill the holes before you do the final sand.
For small spots of paint embedded in the wood, don't sweat it. The stain may cover it. And if not, simply cover it with a matching paint.
All this said, we are not professionals and are still figuring this all out. So experiment and figure out what works for you and we look forward to you sharing your tips.