Paddling can be very tough when there is not much competition around. It's in these times you need to learn to work hard on the areas you feel you were falling short on last season. It may be your technique, race preparations or even just not sticking to the whole season.
I find the easiest way to stay on top of it all is to set small achievable goals, race in little club organised races to help improve your skills under pressure.
The most important time to practice a new skill, like your paddling technique is when you are not under pressure, for those in the Southern Hemisphere that time is now. Think about all the AREAS TECHNICALLY you can improve.
Most people need to work on blade placement at the front of the stroke,rotation throughout the whole stroke, stroke length flat water v surf paddling and most of all getting your boat run working. These few areas will help you improve lots.
Improving is only possible if you want to.