You don’t need work-life balance to be successful—you need these 4 things instead

The Dunphy-Pritchett-Tucker clan reunites on ABC'S "Modern Family."
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The Dunphy-Pritchett-Tucker clan reunites on ABC'S "Modern Family."

According to a recent study of young executives by HubSpot, one in two people say that they need to improve their work-life balance.

One in two people are wrong. Dead wrong.

This idea that success is about "finding balance" is as flawed as it is dangerous.

I get it. You're tired. Beaten down. Feeling the effects of long hours and failure. You aren't sure you have enough endurance to see your way to success.

You've been told that "if you were doing it right," you should be happy and balanced. Enjoying reasonable hours at the office along with adequate time for relationships and your hobbies.

That's a lie.

You don't need more balance between your work and personal life. In fact, that's not even possible. There is, however, a formula for finding fulfillment in pursuit of your success.

1. You need purpose

When you're doing something you believe in, you don't feel drained by it. In fact, it's quite the opposite. When you're working on something you feel passionate about, you feel energized. Even with longer than average hours.

You are obsessed with your purpose.

The question you need to ask yourself is not "how do I get better work-life balance," but "why do I feel like I need better work-life balance"?

Are you fulfilled by the things you spend your time on or are you just passing time, feeling safe but bored in your comfort zone? Are you doing anything that excites you? If not, you don't need better work-life balance, you need a wake-up call.

That's the truth.

In the same study done by Hubspot, 83 percent of salespeople responded that they want to spend more quality time with family. Another 68 percent described their current lifestyle as challenging.

So do that. Spend time with your family. Spend time mastering a hobby. Your life is your choice. Find a purpose that makes the daily grind worth it.

Ask yourself some hard questions. What is your passion? What makes you happy? What's stopping you from doing it more often?

2. You need perspective

Work-life balance is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately, and somewhat recklessly. Executives use it as an excuse for not doing the things they should be doing.

If it's hard or uncomfortable, somehow it must be wrong. Which is absolutely ridiculous.

Instead of blaming a poor work-life balance for missing your child's football game, why not be honest with yourself and say you were happy to stay at the office because you were excited about the project you were working on.

Instead of blaming a poor work-life balance for why your love life is a tragedy, look back at all the decisions you've made for the past few months where you prioritized making money over making your relationship work.

Life is about choices. You choose to work long hours or you choose to close your laptop and spend time with your family.

Don't get into the habit of making excuses and finding something else to blame for the uncomfortable consequences.

Make the decision that's right for you. Regardless of how it looks to others.

3. You need priorities

We all do it. And it's pretty dumb. We don't manage our priorities.

For example, when asked by HubSpot, 50 percent of salespeople admitted that they check their email right before bed and 33 percent said that their job negatively impacts their personal life.

Those are choices. Not an accident.

When you know what your priorities are, you can communicate them to the people around you, set expectations, and avoid disappointment.

This means being honest with yourself, your boss, your coworkers, your family, and friends.

Let's start with being honest with yourself. This comes back to finding your purpose and what makes you feel fulfilled. If that's spending more time working, you know what, that's OK.

If it's something else, that's fine too. But understanding what makes you happy is the key to your success here.

Once you've identified where you want and need to spend your time, you need to set your priorities. Make them clear.

If you want a hard stop from work at 6 p.m., communicate that to your coworkers. Disable email notifications, block off your calendar outside of the hours you want to work. It's ultimately on you to make things happen the way you want them to.

4. You need progress

It's easy to feel demotivated and like something is missing when you hit a wall and stop moving forward. When you're fatigued by the things you're working on, you get complacent and lazy. And frustrated.

You need to ask yourself what it is you're working towards. Do you have a clear vision and goal, and more importantly, is it something you genuinely want to achieve? If it is, setting milestone goals will ensure you are consistently making progress towards the end goal.

When you can see progress, you feel a sense of achievement — which spurs you on and motivates you to keep going. Figure out those milestones, document them, and hold yourself accountable if you miss one.

Focus on making progress.

Dan Waldschmidt is a speaker and business strategist who works with billion-dollar companies. He has been published by Business Insider, Forbes and CNBC, and The Wall Street Journal praised his blog as one of the most influential sales blogs. Get more of Dan's thoughts on progress, priorities and purpose in this video series.