So a long time ago I was talking to a friend about doing the art for a webcomic that a he wanted to develop. When we first started out, I did some concept work while he worked on world building. All of this makes sense to a certain degree.
The problem was that this went on for a very long time. Many months, in fact, passed without our having written / illustrated a single comic panel.
We discussed it, and he wanted to keep going as we were. I wanted to get cracking on a product that people could enjoy.
We agreed to a compromise: I said "Why don't we try a 'minimum viable product'? Write up a five page comic, I'll illustrate it, and we'll put it online. That way we can see if anyone other than us gives a shit."
When it took many months more for those five pages worth of text to come my way, I bowed out.
Now that I'm working on my little project, I'm writing a lot in a lexicon of sorts. Worldbuilding. Not nearly on the level that he did, but I find myself wondering if I'm distracting myself a bit too much with unnecessary things. I find myself doing searches on late 70's and early 80's fashion. Digging up news clippings from 1979 Detroit. At best, these would be 'stage dressing'. None of it will be strictly speaking necessary for the book.
So I guess my question is this: Do you have some rule that you keep yourselves to in order to keep from spending too much time on extraneous elements of your storytelling? To keep yourselves from doing too much homework and not enough actual writing?