ASD here, and it sure can be overwhelming. Sounds like you are in a busy city also, which increases the stress factoring. It has to be a second, relaxed income for many, as full time is mind boggling for most hoomans.
I primarily perform shops where I am traveling nearby, and usually take shops that are on the easier side of reporting with little narration. I have no time to spend worrying about some editor looking for a way to not pay me. I don't need the fees to pay bills. To reduce paperwork, I download all T&Cs to my desktop, place shop questions on my smartphone OneNote app and use check boxes where I can. Right after a shop, I quickly denote my findings on my OneNote file before going online to transcribe my findings on the company web page. Once I get paid, I move my sync'd OneNote file to a "completed" area of my desktop hard drive. Periodically, everything gets backed up to my NAS (Network Attached Storage). In summary, it's a lot of repetition with meticulous file keeping.
You might want to reconsider doing this full time. There will be stress. Instead, limit the hours you work. Pick a couple of easy no narrative shops, Little Caesars or JackNtheBox for example, and just stick to doing those same few shops. Eventually, branch out and try something new. I would stay away from inspections, audits, banking and finance, apartment shops etc. All of them require either lots of things to remember and/or narratives. As you already might be aware (since you once did this full time for 3 years), the more shops you do in a day, the more hours you put in a day, the level of stress and anxiety increases too. Make it easy on yourself.
Consider merchandising. You might need to study or download instructions and example images, but there is little else to do except dress properly for the job, bring your charged phone and any materials that were sent to you instead of to the locations, and get to work. Most merchandising gigs are reported on the phone via app, and there is only scant mandatory typing. Most apps provide spaces for optional additional information for anything unusual or that the client or MSC would not be aware of otherwise. There is no penalty for leaving those spaces blank. This is one [imho easy] way to fund your expensive department store or boutique goodies when no relevant mystery shops are available for them.
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2021 02:12PM by Shop-et-al.
Agree with all these comments. I juggle full-time job with MS. That stresses me out! Limit yourself. Pace yourself. Be kind to yourself. Don't do more than a shop a day. Maybe 2-3 a week? Anxiety is real. Not worth it to feel stress. Also remind yourself, what's the worst that can happen? Oh well, I get an 8 on a report instead of a 9? Rarely are shops rejected outright unless you really screw up.
When things get too much for me sometomes, I focus on shops I already know and do not take on new types of assignments. But honestly it sounds like you should not do this type of work, except as a hobby, if the stress is getting to that level. Find a job where you can clock out and forget about work until you clock back in. I tell myself that too, sometimes.
I make a worksheet (used to refer to them as cheatsheets) that is specific to the work involved. Each worksheet is specific to the shop and its address with checkoff areas for photos, etc. Besides being exceeding helpful, just making the worksheet imprints in my brain the aspects of the shop. Of course, over time, the worksheets get updated as a matter of the MSC having new areas to check or specific photos not requested in previous shops.
For new shops that I've never done, I always ensure that the shop is nearby. That's just so if for some reason, I've overlooked a detail and the reviewer or editor asks me about it or asks for a photo, I can return. That is my learning education, I figure and I'm not opposed to returning.
For shops that I've done over and over (like gas stations), I usually have enough extra photos to compensate for a missed or requested photo. Besides that, I always bring my laptop with a fully charged battery as well as a car charger for it. I download my photos from my favorite digital camera and review and name the photos, checking off all of the required photos on my worksheet.
If they ask me for something or ask that I return to do the shop, I refuse - they can bite me - I'm not returning especially for some editor's fanciful whim. I'll take the hit - its not worth my time or money and, that has not happened in a long, long time.