The next time your boss catches you rockin' out to videos on YouTube or updating your facebook status, just show him that this actually improves your work.

New research from the University of Illinois shows that brief diversions may actually help you concentrate and improve your overall work performance.

According to Alejandro Lleras, a professor at the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, attention doesn't just run out after a lengthy period of focus. Instead, he likens it to a gas tank, which needs to be refilled during short breaks.

To test his theory, Lleras asked groups of students to focus on various numbers flashing on a computer for an hour. One group received no breaks, while others were told to memorize numbers and wait for those to pop up on the screen. The groups that had the diversions were able to sustain their concentration, while the other group's attention waned after only 20 minutes.

(via The Case for Cute Kitty Videos: Study Shows Distractions Help You Focus - TIME NewsFeed.)