I am talking about your mechanics of playing. Yes that's right, pushing buttons and clicking mouse buttons. I know all these people who are struggling just come post and ask for help and they get this build order or strategy thrown their way - which isn't necessarily bad - but if you can't do what you need to do in a timely or efficient manner, the greatest strategy in the world won't help.
You have to use your hotkeys and PRACTICE. I will list how I practice at the end but it is imperative that you practice using hotkeys and speeding up your play - if you want to get better. Open up one of the build order testers below or play against a very easy computer and USE HOTKEYS FOR EVERY SINGLE THING YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
A Basic Opening the Right Way
*Practice doing this until you get faster and faster. I will use my hotkeys (3 for command center, 4 for barracks, 5 for factories, and 6 for starports) but you may use what you feel most comfortable with*
1. Game starts.
2. Send all your SCVs to mine.
3. Select your command center, hit S (to build SCV). Set your command center rally point to the minerals and hit CTRL + 3 to hotkey your command center to 3. Your supply should show 7/11. This just means that you have 6 SCVs mining and 1 currently building for a total of 7.
4. Build 3 more SCVs.
5. When you supply shows 10/11 and you have about 65-75 minerals, select 1 SCV and move him to your ramp. By the time he gets there you should have about 100 minerals. Hit B -> S to Build a Supply depot. With the SCV still selected, hold shift and right click a mineral patch. This will automatically put the SCV back to work when he is done. Always make yourself do this.
6. Build 2 more SCVs.
7. When you are at 12/19 supply and have about 100 minerals, move another SCV out to your ramp. When he gets there you should have about 150 minerals. Hit B -> B to Build a Barracks and left click to place it down. As before, shift + right click the SCV back to a mineral patch. Then click the barracks and hit ctrl + 4 to hotkey your barracks to 4.
8. Build 1 SCV to put you at 13/19.
9. Build a refinery by selecting an SCV and hitting B -> R and left click it into place. No need to shift + click this SCV back to minerals since we want him to start mining gas when the refinery finishes.
10. Buld 2 more SCVs to put you at 15/19. When your refinery finishes, put 2 SCVs on gas immediately.
11. Your barracks and 15th SCV should finish at about the same time AND you should have close to 200 minerals. Build 1 marine (50 minerals) by using your hotkeys. 4 -> A. Then turn your command center into an orbital command for 150 minerals using your hotkeys, 3 -> B.
12. While your 1st marine and orbital command are being produced, use your next 100 minerals to build your 2nd supply depot to finish your ramp wall. Use the same procedure as #5.
And that is your basic opener and is what 99% of strategies use as an opening build order. Use the build order testers below, practice with friends, or play the very easy computer and use all the hotkeys for everything. Build your factory and starport the same way as in the opening - move your SCV over to the spot BEFORE you have the money and then shift + right click that SCV back to work.
When you are practicing this you must use your hotkeys at all times. It is so easy to just use your mouse for one or two things when you don't know the hotkey but that is not correct. If you need to build, for example, a factory and you don't know the hotkey: select and SCV and hit V (for build advanced structure) and hover your mouse over the factory to find out the hotkey. Then USE THE HOTKEY and build the structure.