run around in circles, to

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run around in ˈcircles

(British English also run round in ˈcircles) (informal) be busy doing something without achieving anything important or making progress: He has a tendency to run around in circles getting more and more worked up.
See also: around, circle, run
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run around in circles, to

To proceed indecisively or aimlessly; a fruitless endeavor. This American colloquialism dates from the first half of the twentieth century. Patricia Wentworth wrote (Pursuit of a Parcel, 1942), “He had been rushing around in circles.” See also go around in circles.
See also: around, run
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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