mark time

[mark time] {v. phr.} 1. To move the feet up and down as inmarching, but not going forward.

The officer made the soldiers marktime as a punishment.

2. To be idle; waiting for something to happen.

The teacher marked time until all the children were ready for thetest.

3. To seem to be working or doing something, but really notdoing it.

It was so hot that the workmen just marked time.