Procrastinating actually makes you smarter, new research shows

It can help prevent dementia and schizophrenia

A scientific research paper has found that paying attention to nothing, may be crucial to maintaining a healthy mind and making fast decisions.

So when you're doing everything to avoid doing work, you're actually improving an integral part of your brain.

Scientists from the University of Cambridge reveal that procrastinating may actually help our brain to carry out the majority of its cognitive work.

The brain circuitry responsible for procrastinating, known as the default mode network (DMN), is one of the most important of our mental abilities. It's responsible for our brains going into "autopilot" when doing things like driving or crossing the road.

Furthermore, many psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia and dementia are linked to the breakdown of this specific brain circuitry.

An MRI scanner was used during the study, to track the brain activity in 28 healthy adults playing a card sorting game.

When the volunteers were learning how to play the game, the scientists saw what their brains looked like in deliberate thought.

But then the scientists noticed a difference in brain function, when the participants got the hang of the game and their minds moved to automatic.

Deniz Vatansever, who carried out the study as part of his PhD at the University of Cambridge said: "Rather than waiting passively for things to happen to us, we are constantly trying to predict the environment around us.

"Our evidence suggests it is the default mode network that enables us do this. It is essentially like an autopilot that helps us make fast decisions when we know what the rules of the environment are."