If you want something done, give it to a busy person - so the saying goes.
Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger was certainly busy in 2010: the phone-hacking scandal, Wikileaks, in addition to the regular demands made of him in overseeing a national newspaper. But it was also the year that he had set himself a challenge of learning to play Chopin's Ballade No1, in twelve months.
His account of this task, the book 'Play it Again', was given to me to review and, at first glance, it didn't seem a particularly accessible volume. Its size and the density of text, along with technical details about the music made it rather formidable. However, the book is presented as Alan's diary and insights into his life proved fascinating, inspiring and compelling.
Escaping into his life I found as appealing as any light novel, or self-help tome, and it left me feeling I could achieve anything. If he can make time and maintain discipline to achieve his goal of learning this piece of music, what is stopping me from....
Something to ponder though. Who is cooking Alan's meals, doing the washing, paying the bills, arranging the diary? If he is truly achieving all of these chores as well as maintaining his high-achieving life, I will be completely in awe. And the answer to making more time? Get up earlier. He refers to Arnold Bennett's book 'How to Live on 24 hours a Day'. It's next on my reading list!