This is how skiving off from work can actually boost your productivity

In this cutthroat professional landscape, every second counts in successfully climbing the corporate ladder. Depending on what industry you're in, you might be forced to show up early every day, and stay extra late in order to keep up with the overwhelming workload. Then, you go home, and prepare to start the whole thing over again.

For a lot of people, that scenario is a very tangible reality, and although we've all got our allocated holiday time, sometimes that's just not enough. Sometimes, you've got to call in sick, even if there's nary a hint of a sniffle in your sinuses. Yes, sometimes you've just got to embrace truancy, even if you feel completely awful for it afterward.

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Playing hooky is something we've ingrained in ourselves as an inherently bad thing, but one neuroscientist says that not only is it nothing to be ashamed of, it's actually pretty helpful for you in the long run.

Dr Tara Swart, a neuroscientist who is also the author of An Attitude for Acting: How to Survive (and Thrive) As an Actor, says that those extra couple days every now and then can only be good for your overworked grey matter. In order to be at your best in the workplace, you need to keep blood flowing to all areas of your brain.

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Sometimes, that isn't always possible; when you've got a high workload, your boss is riding you or you feel like you're being treated unfairly by your coworkers, then your brain goes into survival mode, moving supply away from the areas of higher function.

Pretty useful for when you want to run away from a sabre tooth tiger, but not so great for when you need to finish that report by the end of the day.

alt Credit: TaraSwart.com

In this survival mode, you can go through the motions, doing just enough to stay out of the HR office, but your work won't be as great, and you'll approach your coworkers with the enthusiasm of an angry cat being forced to have a bath. Not exactly helpful for workplace camaraderie. To extend the corporate metaphor, Dr Swart likes to think of the human brain as being the "CEO" of your body.

"If you knew how your CEO thinks, what their values are, or how they like to work, you’d be able to give them the best piece of work that you can. It’s exactly like that with your brain. The more you know about how it works, the more you can get out of it."

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So next time you're flagging on a Wednesday afternoon and begging for the sweet release of death, consider calling in sick the next day and doing something nice for yourself. After all, a well-rested employee is going to be a creative, productive and friendly employee, and which business isn't going to like that? Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to book a trip to the movies... and tell my boss about this cold I've got coming on.