If you鈥檙e like us (and you probably are, because you鈥檙e reading this site!), you feel like you鈥檙e聽always busy.聽When you can access emails as easily as you can Snapchat (thanks, smartphones), and working from home is frequently an option (when did the couch become your desk?), it can be hard聽to achieve work-life balance even when you want to.

It's been a rough day

But, according to聽research, taking recovery time from all that thinking and problem-solving and decision-making is just as important as staying out of the gym to recover the day after a hard workout.聽For those of us who are especially Type A (you know who you are), it can be hard not to immediately eliminate every item on our to-do list. But while it might feel like you鈥檙e accomplishing a lot, in reality, your work and focus are suffering if you keep going at that can鈥檛-stop-won鈥檛-stop rate all day long.

In this study, researchers focused on analyzing the lateral prefrontal聽cortex (LPFC)聽section of the brain, which manages our self-control and impulsivity. They measured subjects鈥 performance on working memory and task-switching exercises over a six-hour period, modeled after a typical work day.

Busy Person Writing Many Sticky Notes On Large Window

If subjects started taking shortcuts or focusing on the 鈥渋mmediate rewards鈥 in their tasks, the researchers knew that meant the LFPC was getting fatigued. And there was a definite increase in impulsivity among participants who were given harder tasks versus those in the control group who either had easier things to do聽or took breaks throughout the day.聽So basically, the聽harder you work, the less effective you may be.

If taking breaks from work聽doesn鈥檛 come naturally to you, try specifically scheduling them in your calendar. (We know you live and die by that Google Cal. You have to do whatever it tells you.) You should also make a point of actually taking your vacation days. Too many people don鈥檛, either because they feel like they 鈥渄on鈥檛 have time,鈥 or are afraid of how being away from the office might look.

And if your boss just doesn鈥檛 get it? Push aside all that extra work they just piled on your desk and put in that PTO request聽anyway 鈥 you can tell them science has your back.

Do you have trouble setting work-life balance? Tweet us your tips for giving your brain a break @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)