I read a very interesting and help article called “How to write an abstract in 30 minutes” by Eva Lantsoght in her blog: http://phdtalk.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/how-to-write-abstract-in-30-minutes.html
Her method is to write down a few questions in a blank document then fill in her answers. Those questions include the motivation, the problem statement, the approach for the problem, then result and conclusion.
In my case of social science, we might not be able to come up with the result when we write a conference abstract as the next few months before the conference might be the time to collect those data. But the general structure of those questions makes sense!
I recall the time when I wrote the abstract for an conference. It was a few hours before deadline and the situation forced me to push myself write an abstract without overthinking too much! Although I won’t recommend this approach to anyone, as we shouldn’t leave everything to the last minute!
Therefore, I might try out this new approach next time! Thanks for sharing, Eva!