make short work of, to

make short work of someone or something

 and make fast work of someone or something
to finish with someone or something quickly. I made short work of Tom so I could leave the office to play golf. Billy made fast work of his dinner so he could go out and play.
See also: make, of, short, work

make short work of

Complete or consume quickly, as in The children made short work of the ice cream, or They made short work of cleaning up so they could get to the movies. This term, first recorded in 1577, in effect means "to turn something into a brief task."
See also: make, of, short, work

make short work of

accomplish, consume, or destroy quickly.
See also: make, of, short, work

make short work of, to

To dispose of something with dispatch. This term, too, is an old one, recorded as far back as 1577, when it appeared in John Grange’s The Golden Aphroditis (“Desirous to make shorte worke thereof ”). A later use was in E. Clodd’s Myths and Dreams (1885): “Criticism has made short work of the romancing chronicles which so long did duty for sober history”(cited by the OED). It is often used jocularly. See also short shrift.
See also: make, short, work