The guy who runs this website ( and gave a talk called "7 Secrets of Successful PhD Students" at my school yesterday.

I could only stay for the first two "secrets", but they seemed like common sense things.

1) Manage the relationship with your adviser/supervisor. This includes holding regular meetings with them, and understanding their strengths and weaknesses (incidentally the concept of "managing up" is pretty common in the workplace too).
2) "It's write and show, not hide and seek." The basics were about being regular about you writing, not being a perfectionist to start, not being afraid of feedback, avoiding excuses to procrastinate on writing, etc.

Edit: Here is all 7:

1) The care an maintenance of your supervisor.
2) Write and show as you go.
3) Be realistic, it's not a Nobel Prize.
4) Say no to distractions.
5) It's a job.
6) Get help.
7) You can do it. A PhD is 10% intelligence and 90% persistence.