run (a)round in circles

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run (a)round in circles

To waste one's time and energy engaging in trivial, aimless, or futile activities. I tried to get an outline drafted for my thesis, but my ideas were so jumbled in my head that I just kept running round in circles. The committee spent all afternoon trying to come up with a new PR proposal, but they ran around in circles the whole time.
See also: circle, run