Is there a single word or phrase that describes a person who:

  1. Does something that is not important or is unnecessary AND
  2. Does not do something that is important or necessary?

I would appreciate it if the word can be slotted into the following gap:

Ali is a ____ person. He doesn't always get his priorities right. He always does things that are not important and forgets to do things that are important.

Thank you very much.

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    Well, it isn’t even phrased in English. You’ve done no research. You offer no suggestions. And you’re just looking for a bad word to call someone whose behavior you disapprove of. – tchrist May 14 '14 at 0:58
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    While I think this is a good question, the bad grammar greatly detracts from it. – dwjohnston May 14 '14 at 1:35
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    I am annoyed by the grammar of the title of your question. – Blessed Geek May 14 '14 at 1:52
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    I suggest your read our Help center to understand the scope of this site. I think you might find a better home for your questions on English Language Learners. – terdon May 14 '14 at 1:54
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    Come on, people, give the questioner a break. The grammar isn't perfect, but it's easily good enough to get the question across. – Erik Kowal May 14 '14 at 1:59

I would say that this person does not have his priorities straight, where priorities are concerns established in order of importance.

To identify, prioritize, and coordinate short-term Bacillus anthracis bioterrorism research for public health response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a meeting in Atlanta on December 10-11, 2001, to obtain input on research priorities and improve coordination with federal partners and other stakeholders.

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Ali is an irresponsible person.

irresponsible : 2. Lacking a sense of responsibility; unreliable or untrustworthy.

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A careless person at work, suggests someone who is possibly distracted, forgets to do things, and lacks the basic skills to organize his/her work carefully and efficiently.

Careless: showing a lack of attention. G.D
not taking care T.F.D
not exact, accurate, or thorough D.C

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I would say that Ali is an incoherent person.

incoherent: irrational; without logical or meaningful connection; confused; disordered.

"Ali is an incoherent (or illogical) person. He always does not get his priorities right. He always does things that are not important, and forgets to do things that are important."

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  • Is this a pointed dig at the OP? – dwjohnston May 14 '14 at 1:34
  • @user1068446 Why's that? Do you think there's some kinda coherence in someone who does things that are unimportant or unnecessary, and forgets to do what is considered important and necessary? – Elian May 14 '14 at 1:59
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    @user1068446 - that was unnecessary (unless you were being serious?) – anongoodnurse May 14 '14 at 2:23
  • @medica You bet I was. Does that sound that extraordinary that someone who does things in a way contrary to common sense might be considered "incoherent?" – Elian May 14 '14 at 2:48
  • @Elian - no, I wasn't disagreeing with your answer, only wondering why user 1068446 made that comment. I don't think you were attacking OP (which was user's connotation); you're not like that. Wanted to let him know that. PS not my downvote. – anongoodnurse May 14 '14 at 4:16

Procrastinate (to put off intentionally and habitually) may be a good starting point Merriam Webster Procrastinate

This gives you a number of phrases you could use

Ali is a procrastinating person

Ali is a procrastinator

Ali is always procrastinating

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I would say:

Ali is a superfluous person. He doesn't always get his priorities right. He always does things that are not important and forgets to do things that are important.

Although a better sentence is perhaps;

As a person, Ali is superfluous to requirements.

See this definition:

superfluous suːˈpəːflʊəs,sjuːadjective

unnecessary, especially through being more than enough. "the purchaser should avoid asking for superfluous information"

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  • In terms of style, this answer was/is very poorly formatted. – virmaior May 17 '14 at 1:07
  • I'd agree, first post and all that. As an aside, what did you think of superfluous as an answer? – james mccoy May 17 '14 at 1:54
  • I don't think superfluous works well for this one. Or rather it a superfluous person could mean either a person who acts superfluously or a person whose existence is unnecessary. Forbid the second thought. So a dangerous construction. – virmaior May 17 '14 at 2:05

ali is an unorganized person. He doesn't always get his priorities right. He always does things that are not important and forgets to do things that are important.

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    Hello. You can strengthen your answer by including an explanation of why unorganized his a good answer to the poster's fill-in-the-blank question. In supporting your answer, consider citing suitable authority such as one or more relevant definitions from a dictionary. Thanks! – Sven Yargs Jan 20 '16 at 1:48

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