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.

  • 2
    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, 2014 at 0:58
  • 1
    While I think this is a good question, the bad grammar greatly detracts from it.
    – dwjohnston
    May 14, 2014 at 1:35
  • 2
    I am annoyed by the grammar of the title of your question. May 14, 2014 at 1:52
  • 3
    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, 2014 at 1:54
  • 6
    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, 2014 at 1:59

7 Answers 7


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.


Ali is an irresponsible person.

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


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


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."

  • Is this a pointed dig at the OP?
    – dwjohnston
    May 14, 2014 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, 2014 at 1:59
  • 1
    @user1068446 - that was unnecessary (unless you were being serious?) May 14, 2014 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, 2014 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. May 14, 2014 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


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"

  • In terms of style, this answer was/is very poorly formatted.
    – virmaior
    May 17, 2014 at 1:07
  • I'd agree, first post and all that. As an aside, what did you think of superfluous as an answer? May 17, 2014 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, 2014 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.

  • 4
    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, 2016 at 1:48

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