Excel Speed Loop

Speed Loop

The Speed Loop is the method that helped me reduce the time to update my Excel workbooks from 2 weeks per month to 2 days per month.

I was an accountant in industry, sitting in my cube updating tons of Excel workbooks. I was stressed out and cranky because I had more work than time. I worked late nights and weekends and often felt anxious at work and home. I developed an informal system and a variety of Excel skills that helped me get my work done faster. I have formalized the method (aka framework, approach, system, process, cycle), and call it the Speed Loop.

The Speed Loop is what I used to get my schedule under control, feel relaxed at work, and have a better work/life balance. What used to take 2 weeks per month was now getting done in 2 days, and I had more time than work.

I teach this method free, and I hope it can help you as well. Here is a quick overview.


Investor Mindset

I use an investor metaphor to teach the Speed Loop. An investor makes a financial investment, hopes the asset appreciates in value, and expects to realize a gain upon sale. That is, the investor seeks to get more back than what was invested.

Here, we are investing time (precious resource), appreciating the assets (improving our workbooks), and expecting to realize a gain (saving more time than invested).

This investor mindset helps keep us focused on the task at hand: improving our recurring-use Excel workbooks to save time and get our work done faster each period.

Invest Time

Our goal here is to locate our recurring-use workbooks and prepare them for the Speed Loop.

  • Identify – recurring project workbooks (these can provide future efficiency dividends)
  • Insert – lead sheets (a set of standard worksheets)

Appreciate Assets

Our goal here is to incrementally improve the workbooks over several cycles

  • Automate – manual update tasks based on current Excel skills
  • Anticipate – errors and prevent and/or detect them
  • Accumulate – additional Excel skills needed to automate more tasks next period

Realize Gain

Our goal here is to leverage our time savings and reinvest our efficiency dividends

  • Rebuild – the set of workbooks as a whole, from scratch
  • Reinvest – locate the next set of recurring project workbooks, and go around again

Additional Resources

If you think this process can help you work faster, please check out these additional resources:

  • Free webinar
  • Personal coaching program

Here is a bit of information on each.

Free Webinar (Includes Implementation Guide + Excel Template)

I teach the Speed Loop free in a pre-recorded webinar.

The webinar is a better format for teaching because I can talk about the steps in detail and share my screen to demonstrate.

Plus, I actually take a sample workbook and go through several automation steps:

  • * centralizing input cells
  • * converting ordinary ranges to tables
  • * converting static values to formulas
  • * converting formula-reports to PivotTables
  • * converting manual copy/paste with Power Query

It is really fun and the details make the Speed Loop more concrete and easier to visualize.

You can register free here:


The complimentary 1-hour webinar provides step-by-step “how to” instructions with Excel demonstrations. The handouts include the Speed Loop Implementation Guide (PDF) as well as the Excel Lead Sheets Template (xlsx workbook) which you can swipe and adapt to your situation. TO DOWNLOAD, once you are in the webinar, click the Document Icon in the upper left. You will be able to view/download the handouts.


  • If you know anyone else that would enjoy this, please forward them the link
  • The webinar is pre-recorded and will start at the beginning
  • If you don’t have time to watch it now, register and the system will email you a link so you can watch it later
  • Once you watch it, the system will send a recording link (review, pause, or rewind)
  • The handouts are available in the webinar (document icon), but not in the archive recording
  • Your registration includes a free subscription to the Excel University blog
  • The webinar is not offered for CPE credit

Speed Loop Coaching Program

The Speed Loop coaching program is designed for folks who would like some hands-on assistance implementing it into their workbooks. You can learn more about it here:

Thanks for learning more about the Speed Loop … it helped me worked much faster and I hope it can help you as well!