Having a plan of attack or a strategy of some sort is so important for many things in life, and it is also important to mystery shopping, too. With many things, having a strategy for how you plan to do things can save you money, save you time, or sometimes both. When you have the right organizational strategies in place as a mystery shopper, you will find that you really can save both time and money!
Set Up a File System. Everyone’s brain seems to work just a little differently than other people’s brains work, and so there isn’t necessarily a “right” file system that works for everyone. However, you will find that when you take time to find the right file system for you, you really will stay more organized. You will know where to find papers when you need them, and where to store them so you don’t have to live with the stress and hassle of clutter, too. Consider investing in file folders, a file cabinet, or whatever else you need to stay on top of your paperwork.
Get a Paper Shredder. Many mystery shoppers tend to be pack rats of sorts, and this is largely because they are afraid to get rid of paperwork they printed out for their assignments. It is a good idea to hang on to your notes from an assignment until your report is approved, but after that, you can absolutely toss those papers aside – and hopefully straight into the paper shredder so you don’t have to think about them again. Likewise, you can consider tossing assignment requirements, and other items, too. The only things you need to hold on to long-term are paystubs and receipts, as these will be needed for tax purposes.
Establish a Routine. Chances are, you are in the habit of being disorganized, and so you will have to work hard to break that habit. First, you should decide what the ideal new routine is. Consider this routine in terms of a process to follow with paperwork, such as where paperwork will be stored at various points in the assignment process, at what point you will shred unnecessary papers, and at what point receipts will be filed away for good. Then write that routine down and keep it in a handy location on your desk or work area. For the next few weeks, you will want to refer back to that written routine and follow it to the letter. This will help you to break the habit of being disorganized and get yourself into new, more organized habits.
Organization is not something that you will do once in a blue moon like spring cleaning. Instead, it is something that you should work to achieve on a daily basis. These tips can help you find a great level of organization and maintain that level of organization for the long term.