START THINKING ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH TOPIC PROPOSAL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Working on your dissertation proposal from day one of your PhD program is the idea way to keep moving. You can change your mind a time or two, but try to stick with it from there. Remember you don't have to stick with a hypothesis, just a research area. Keep focusing all of your reading and research on that area to save you time and deepen your thought process. When you hear objections or concerns face them fully. These are key helps in sharpening your thinking so that your research topic is carefully worded.