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my two big tips for PhD students:
1. be very skeptical of doing anything that's not putting a roof over your head or going in your dissertation.
2. try to make it so what's paying you is also going into your dissertation.
3. BONUS TIP: it helps if your ideas work, but if they don't, fail quickly. don't fail slowly.

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also don't let your advisor suggest working on something outside their expertise, they will not know what's a good idea there.

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@gzt
Agree with all of the above. Looking back, I would have saved a lot of time if I worked more like this

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