Writers distract themselves by doing crossword puzzles, making labels for file folders, and by sharpening pencils. Artists, on the other hand, are quite unique and distract themselves by doodling, sorting art supplies, and by sharpening pencils. Some painters go over the deep end spending hours preparing convenient and functional travel kits for trips or outdoor work. Since the invention of Fimo clay, painters have used Fimo to make paint wells to fit in metal boxes such as those from Altoid Mints or Sucrets. In fact, there's a whole underground culture online about creating these kits.
I found an even smaller and easier method: dispense with the Fimo, and use a box that already has an acceptable interior paint job. I found the perfect one in the junk drawer. The only drawback with not having paint wells is that the paints mingle some as they're used, which is not to everyone's taste.
For my mini-kit, I only needed to cover the box edges with clear tape, so that my brushes wouldn't get damaged (unlike the Altoids boxes, this one has no "lip").
This amount of paint kept me and three kids in business, painting to our hearts' content, for almost an hour. Not that I was wasting time distracting myself, you understand.