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.
spin your wheelsmainly 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.
spin your wheelswaste 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.