It's true that research is fundamentally different from, say, doing travel reports. And of course graduate school should be a time of intense focus and growth. I don't think I really needed GTD as a grad student, and overly emphasizing the mundane at that point in one's career might be a mistake. In my experience, it's when you become an assistant professor that things get out of control: teaching, committees, grants and even, yes, the education of graduate students take away time from research. A big part of GTD for me is handling the routine so I have time and a clear head for things I consider important, as is the capture of ideas, great and small. The distinction between deep and shallow work often seems to me a bit pompous and even narcissistic, traits also exhibited by Cal Newport.