Step 9: Optional Weave
Start the bracelet as if you were making it only 2 columns wide, and continue until you have made it as long as you want, and in fact, close this up.
Now add a second column of metal, and a second column of rubber rings.
Continue adding columns of metal and rubber rings until you are satisfied, then finish with a single column of metal rings. I don't believe this would be any faster, but it could be a lot easier to complete the linking of the ends.