spin your wheels

spin (one's) wheels

To waste one's time or energy idly or frivolously; to neither progress nor regress, but remain in a fixed, neutral position. They kept me on to manage what's left of this division, but to be honest, I've just been spinning my wheels here for the last couple of years. We haven't been able to do anything new until more funding comes in, so the project is just spinning its wheels for the moment.
See also: spin, wheel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

spin your wheels

mainly AMERICAN
If someone spins their wheels, they fail to achieve anything satisfactory. He's not getting anywhere. He's just spinning his wheels. For almost an hour now he had been spinning his wheels, accomplishing nothing.
See also: spin, wheel
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

spin your wheels

waste your time or efforts. North American informal
2001 Time As long as our national energy policy is demand-driven…we will continue to spin our wheels.
See also: spin, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

spin your ˈwheels

use your time, energy, etc. without achieving anything: I had the feeling that the company was spinning its wheels and getting nowhere. ▶ ˈwheel-spinning noun: Save yourself some wheel-spinning and head to the library.
See also: spin, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
In there is a hefty list of cartridges both inch and metric, factory and wildcat already available, so you won't spin your wheels on a concept already explored.
You can spin your wheels all day trying to come up with the "perfect" message, logo or tag line to motivate residents to recycle.
Aesthetics aside, clutter can sabotage organization , productivity and even creativity, leaving you to spin your wheels amidst the mess.