Last December an executive manager created an internal blogging challenge. He asked us to share our hands-on approach or tested technique on creating space. There was plenty of good material on time management and how to create space already available, but I felt like sharing this piece of advice anyway. It was not a live changing resolution, nor did I win the challenge, but it helped me to calm down and make use of the time I had.
There are these days when my calendar is riddled with meetings and conference calls and I know already in the morning that I will not be able to get anything done. As a software engineer I need continuous pieces of time to concentrate, get into the task and finish it. I would struggle to use the few minutes between meetings during the day to work on my tasks. It didn't work and this used to frustrate me.
As soon as I accepted that I would not be able to work on my (high priority) tasks on such days at all, I got more relaxed and it "created" time. Now I use this time for small things, e.g. update my CV, read some blogs, fire up some development tools and try something new. Sometimes just leaning back without the pressure to work on a particular task gives way to new ideas.
So my advice to create space is to accept the fact that there are days when you will not be able to make any progress. Accept this fact! Don't fight it! Don't plan anything! Use the few minutes of free time to do something else.