From tons of paperwork to a hectic work schedule, many mystery shoppers find themselves stressed out when disorganization takes over their lives. Your disorganized work life could be costing you more than a few headaches, though. It could also be costing you time and money! Here are some top tips to help you stay organized and save yourself some time, money, and headaches:
Keep A Calendar. Whether you are a mystery shopper who completes a couple of assignments each week or a couple dozen, you can easily lose track of your assignments if you’re not careful. When you request an assignment posted on the job boards, it sometimes is several days before you are awarded that job, and it may be several more days until you are required to do the site visit. In the days between requesting the assignment and actually completing it, a lot can happen in your busy life. It only takes a moment to forget about your assignment or to double-book your time with multiple assignments. Either way, you are in for a mystery shopping nightmare as you try to clamor to complete the assignment or assignments in record time or while you try to talk your provider into forgiving you for this little indiscretion.
It only takes a few seconds to jot assignments down on a calendar, and these few seconds can save you time and money in big ways down the road by keeping your schedule on track. If you don’t already have a calendar, be sure to get one soon. If you have one but don’t use it regularly, make an effort to keep yourself organized by jotting down your assignments on the calendar regularly.
Keep A Travel Log. You can lose big time and money by not keeping up with a travel log. Travel logs are easy to use. Simply keep a small notebook in your car, and log your mileage for each and every job-related trip you make. At the end of the year, you can write off all of your business-related mileage, saving you big money on your taxes. If you are thinking about re-creating your travel log at the end of the year, think again! It will take hours and hours to itemize all of the jobs you’ve completed over the course of a year, wasting a lot of time needlessly. You can save yourself time and money in the long run by keeping up with your travel log on a regular basis.
Create A Filing System. A good filing system will save you a lot of time each and every day, and in mystery shopping, time is money! A filing system should provide you with a way to file your mystery shopping papers after you have completed your assignments. You should also go a step beyond this and create a filing system for jobs that are “to be done” and that are “awaiting payment”. Organizing your paperwork in this fashion makes it easy to pull out the papers you need when you want them. It also makes it easy for you to keep track of which jobs are outstanding in terms of work you need to do and jobs where payment is outstanding to you.
With all of the paperwork required for each job, and with anywhere from a handful to several dozen jobs being in the works at any given time, even the most organized mystery shopper can fall into a state of disorganization at some point. Take some time to pull yourself together and get organized today!