be running around in circles

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be running around in circles

To be wasting one's time and energy engaging in trivial, aimless, or futile activities. My thesis ideas are so jumbled in my head that I'm just running round in circles when I try to draft an outline. Although the committee spent all afternoon trying to come up with a new PR proposal, they were just running around in circles the whole time.
See also: around, circle, running

be running around in circles

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

be running round in circles

BRITISH
If someone is running around in circles or is running round in circles, they are achieving little despite trying hard, because they are disorganized. She wastes a lot of energy running around in circles. Some kid's gone missing, and everyone's running round in circles.
See also: around, circle, running