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like a headless chicken

With great haste and in a careless and/or senseless manner. Instead of running around like a headless chicken, make a list of the things you need to finish and then work on them in that order.
See also: chicken, headless, like

be running around like a headless chicken


be running around like a chicken with its head cut off

COMMON If you are running around like a headless chicken, you are behaving or moving in an uncontrolled or disorganized way, and not thinking calmly or logically. Instead of running round like a headless chicken, try to use your efforts in a more productive way. They were all running around like chickens with their heads cut off — they didn't know where to go, where to sit, or who to talk to. Note: You can also describe people as being like headless chickens. After the other team scored, we started playing like headless chickens. Note: Chickens have been known to run around for a short time after they have had their heads cut off.

running (or rushing) about like a headless chicken

acting in a panic-stricken manner and not thinking clearly about what should be done.
A decapitated chicken may continue to flap about for a few moments before finally expiring.

run around like a ˌheadless ˈchicken

be very busy and active trying to do something, but not very organized, with the result that you do not succeed: What a day! I’ve been running around like a headless chicken all day!
After a chicken’s head is cut off its body may continue to move for a few moments.
References in classic literature ?
Turning quickly he saw that the thing was what he had immediately guessed it to be--a headless and wingless Wieroo corpse.
As he lay resting on the skull-paved shelf, he saw in the center of the vault above the river another of those sinister round holes through which he momentarily expected to see a headless corpse shoot downward in its last plunge to a watery grave.
Locals say it's the handiwork of a headless horseman.
Mrs Margaret Morley, a campaigner for the Headless Cross area of Redditch, claimed she had become increasingly disenchanted with the borough council over the controversial issue.
Last October, the Sunday Times of London published a story on the creation of cloned headless tadpoles, sparking new concerns about what human cloning might bring.
NetBeacon ESP's headless server architecture creates an 'always on' management system to ensure that element information is constantly being monitored.
He said: "I saw how he played in the second leg in Paris - like a headless chicken.
DANIEL AGGER has admitted Swansea City made Liverpool's multi-million-pound stars look like headless chickens, writes Chris Wathan.
Washington, Oct 30 (ANI): Archaeologists have stumbled upon an ancient English cemetery in York, which is filled with headless skeletons, some of which belong to 'exotic' locations.
BOBBY WILLIAMSON reckons Kevin Thomson is right - the Hibs starlet DID used to run around like a headless chicken.
The iconic Guarded View, 1991, with its four headless, dark-skinned mannequins outfitted in various New York museum-guard uniforms faced five Nefertiti busts shaded from black to white, and the ensuing juxtaposition, here as elsewhere in the show, overwhelmed and confused the intended arguments.
DRUNKEN driver John Kemper hit a telephone pole support wire that decapitated his passenger, then drove 12 miles home and slept in his bloody clothes, leaving the headless body in his truck.
Or do you think it might be because the ghost of the headless dog still roams the woods?