Level with a pet if you can because it will help keep you safe. If your pet is tanking all of the damage from the enemies you’re fighting, you won’t have to. The other reason is that pets are easier and cheaper to heal than you are. If you don’t have a pet, make sure you know how to use your defensive abilities. You can’t level quickly if you are dying all the time.
If you want to spend as little time on your alt as possible - just do Legion Invasions. You can use sites like (https://wow.gameinfo.io/invasions) to track when the next invasion will be. Log in, fly to the closest world quest, and once there - right-click on the quest's name in your quest log and "Find Group". Sign up for some group, or if there's none - just start your own immediately, and people will come to you. It is 10 times faster to do invasion quests in a group. Once that particular quest is complete - leave the group, and fly to the next one, where you should find another group. Don't expect the group from one world quest to follow you to the next. Then you simply log out until next invasion. You can do 1-2 invasions a day, and each invasion will give you about a level or 1.5 of experience, if you have full heirloom gear. Each invasion will take about 20 minutes.
What’s worse, it’s rarely satisfying when you do make it to a new milestone in your grind to unlock the gear you need. Legion had legendary items that changed the way an ability functioned, which would also completely change the way classes played; the Azerite traits in the Battle for Azeroth are rarely as interesting. Instead, they are simply passive bonuses that, in most cases, help you do more damage without any extra effort on your part. While some classes are lucky enough to have traits that change their gameplay slightly, Blizzard has so far seemed to favor nerfing those traits out of viability for most specs.
The WF/TF system complicates gearing a bit, as you could get an Uncommon quest reward that forges to Epic quality (not a myth - it happened to me on the first night of release). This means that the old ‘Best in Slot' system is, to all intents and purposes, useless, and you should generally opt for whatever item you have that is the highest level - especially as tier gear no longer exists.