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MODFLOW time steping for optimum performance

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Hello, I am currently in the middle of parameter estimation process of transient MODFLOW model. The model has 21 stress periods. To obtain a good differentiability of model outputs with respect to parameter change convergence criteria had to be set quite strict in the NWT solver settings. This resulted in run time ranging form 30 to 75 minutes per run depending on the actual parameter set. Each stress period consists of a single time step. I was thinking, what the effect of different time stepping would be on the model run time? Would increasing the number of time steps per stress period make the model run faster or slower? Any experiences or advice on optimum time stepping with respect to model performance are welcome.

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