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I am looking for few nouns describing "a situation when one does too many things but achieve nothing important or useful".

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closed as not a real question by RegDwigнt Jan 23 '13 at 13:04

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I doubt if you can find nouns which describe this, but there may be a few phrases that do. –  Neil Jan 23 '13 at 11:02
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Example? Certainly you want to apply that word to a very specific situation. So do describe it. Otherwise there are a million terms that might be applicable, but most actually won't be applicable in your case. –  RegDwigнt Jan 23 '13 at 11:09
    
Seems related to me: english.stackexchange.com/questions/101152/… –  J.R. Jan 23 '13 at 11:12
    
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@RegDwighт: I agree, and was thinking the same thing. I looked up futility in the thesaurus, and found fruitlessness, pointlessness, uselessness, vanity, ineffectiveness, inefficacy; failure, barrenness, unprofitability; impotence, hollowness, emptiness, forlornness, hopelessness – words that might answer the O.P.'s question, or describe our attempts to suggest a "right" answer to it. –  J.R. Jan 23 '13 at 11:17
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3 Answers 3

If there's some resource shared between many targets/users in a way that each of them is short on it, you spread [the resource] thin over too many [targets].

In this case You spread your time thin over too many tasks.

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You're looking for the expression spinning your wheels.

Example: They're on the grind spinning their wheels.

You can also invent your own expressions such as:

Circling around in circles (suggesting no movement or direction inspite of activity)

They're pushing too hard, a door that needs pulling.

Or they're pulling what needs pushing.

They're pushing a brick wall.

They're busy chewing the stones.

They're busy chewing the rocks.

They're taking one step forward and two steps back.

They're trying to fleece leather out of a sheep.

They're working hard counting the hairs on their own heads.

They're making about turns to get there.
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It may not be exactly what you want, but a word in roughly the same semantic area is counterproductive.

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