I am not a native English speaker but I'm looking for a good word that highlights that a process is improved in that it completes more quickly. I thought there was a word that is semantically in the same field as "to kick-start" (referring to a motorcycle), but for the life of me I can't find anything in dictionaries or thesauri. Does a word like that exist? If not, any other word with a metaphorical reference?

Side note: I'll be using this word as part of a title for an article, probably as a gerund. E.g. "Kick-starting My Project" (obviously not with those words).

  • to speed up Is the analogous phrase. – Jim Nov 27 '15 at 21:03
  • You may be looking for the word "Expedite" :) – Genius in trouble Sep 12 '19 at 2:43

When a process is improved in such a way that it takes less time to complete, the process is said to have been streamlined.

The film director found that re-creating the difficult-to-film sequence on a soundstage streamlined the process of completing the film by saving six days of shooting.

Shooting a film on a soundstage, I am told, has many advantages over shooting a scene on the streets of Paris, for example. As long as realism is not sacrificed, the savings in time and money can be substantial.

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    Also a metaphor based on vehicular transportation. – Peter Shor Nov 27 '15 at 14:34
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    Streamlining is more about making something faster by making it more efficient, rather than speeding up through extra effort. Of course that could be the desired metaphor. – beldaz Nov 27 '15 at 19:43

shift to high gear


high gear ... 2. Informal A state of maximum activity, energy, or force: Her mind was in high gear during the debate competition.

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Are you thinking of jump-start? From Merriam-Webster dictionary:

2a : to start or restart rapidly or forcefully
2b : to impart fresh or renewed energy to

It really isn't used to mean "to complete more quickly" but to mean "to get something moving again after it has slowed or stalled". It's based metaphorically on the fact that if a car is stalled because of a dead battery1, you can jump-start it to get it moving again.

1 This doesn't happen to cars anywhere near as often as it used to.

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  • Yes, it is common to hear of "jump starting" a project, even a new project. Even thought the idiom's implication that the project initially had a "dead battery" would be rather pejorative if taken literally, the idiom is not regarded as reflecting negatively on the project's current /prior state, but simply implies getting things suddenly moving. – Hot Licks Nov 27 '15 at 19:02

How about stimulate?


raise levels of physiological or nervous activity in (the body or any biological system).

encourage development of or increased activity in (a state or process).


Verb: catalyse

Chemistry. the causing or accelerating of a chemical change by the addition of a catalyst.

Related idiom:

Put the pedal to the metal

to make something go forward or increase as fast as possible.

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  1. Move faster. "The car accelerated"; - speed up, speed, quicken

  2. Cause to move faster. "He accelerated the car"; - speed, speed up

  3. Cause to occur rapidly - induce, stimulate, rush, hasten, speed up

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  • Yes, this seems the most fitting to me. To bring to completion sooner. – Jim Nov 27 '15 at 21:05


kick/shift/push/send (something) into overdrive Google Books

into overdrive: into a condition of hard work and effectiveness. There are times when you think this show is going to shift into overdrive, but it never does. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms

step up

  1. to make something more active. I hope we can step the pace of business up in the next few days. We can step up business considerably by putting out a larger sign.

  2. to make something go or run faster. The engineer stepped the motors up and the production line moved even faster. Please step up the speed of your activity. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

move/step up a gear

to start to work or play more effectively or quickly than before With just five lengths to go, the German swimmer stepped up a gear and edged ahead to win the race. Cambridge Idioms Dictionary

step on the gas

: to hurry in order to get something done quickly; step on it If we're going to get this done today, it's time to step on the gas. Etymology: based on the literal meaning of step on the gas (to make a car go faster by giving the engine more gas) Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms

drop the hammer

(Expression) American English Idiom: to bring a pending act to fruition. Usually connotes an act which will have serious consequences. Also used in reference to quickly increasing speed in a car by manipulating a manual transmission gear shift (the hammer). Dictionary Of by Farlex

(put) the pedal on the metal

: to make something go forward or increase as fast as possible : Ingrid put the pedal to the metal and finished writing her essay a day early. Etymology: based on the idea of pressing a car's gas pedal (a flat piece that you control with your foot) all the way to the floor to make the car go as fast as possible. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms

shift to full throttle Google Pictures

The definition of full throttle is doing something at full speed. An example of full throttle is a runner racing with his optimal energy and speed. Your Dictionary

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I think you may convey the idea saying that the process has been enhanced:


  • (tr) to intensify or increase in quality, value, power, etc; improve; augment.

From "Adopting the Rational Unified Process:"

  • ..in process engineering, the goal is to develop or enhance a process model; corresponds to a business use case in business engineering.
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The project may be realized on a rush basis.

Example: if a new client calls and needs a big project done on a rush basis, I quote at least 50% more than my regular rate and often refer to it as “time and a half” to put it in perspective.

EDIT: in a timeous manner is another possibility that has not the negative connotation mentionned in your comment.

"timeous" definition: In good time; sufficiently early

Example: ensure timeous completion and posting of applications.

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  • Unfortunately, to me it seems to have a negative connotation. – Bram Vanroy Nov 27 '15 at 14:35
  • @BramVanroy - I edited my answer with another suggestion. – Graffito Nov 27 '15 at 14:57

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