The ability to concentrate and do focused, cognitively-demanding work is crucial to finishing a PhD (and doing research in general). Yet, we often spend our days in emails, meetings and other busywork that does not bring us closer to completing our goal (e.g., the thesis!). How to keep the busyness at bay so that we dedicate more time to the important stuff? In this post, the first of a series based on Cal Newport’s classic book Deep Work, we look at the high-level shape of a deep-worker’s calendar. What are the strategies that doctoral students have successfully used to find time to advance in producing their thesis materials?