Let everyone else board first
Why is it people always crowd around the boarding gate to get ON an airplane, then as soon as it lands those same people are making a mad dash to get the hell off? Don't do that. Waiting in a slow line full of old ladies with roller bags they can't lift over their heads is a terrible way to travel. Wait for the final boarding call and stroll on after everyone else is seated. If you check luggage or pack light you won't even need to worry about overhead bin space.
Make your space more comfortable
Your tiny slice of airplane real estate doesn't need to be as uncomfortable as the airlines make it. Bring along your own pillow and blanket (because we all know about the ones on the plane), an eye cover, and some noise-canceling headphones, and voila! You've created your own little spa in the sky. Even if it is a lot smaller than it was 30 years ago.